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8:00pm December 10, 2010

Democratic Lawmakers Offer Support of Tax Cuts and Unemployment Benefits

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President Barack Obama endured intense scrutiny in the media and on Capitol Hill this week.  Many were unhappy about his compromise with Republicans on the hotly-debated tax cuts and unemployment benefits.

Monday’s agreement centered on a two-year temporary extension of tax cuts at all income levels, a proposal widely supported by the GOP.  Payroll taxes will also be cut by two percent through the end of 2011.  In return for their favored tax cuts, GOP leaders agreed to a 13-month extension of federal unemployment benefits to help struggling American families pay their bills.

The president announced his deal with Republicans in a televised speech on Monday evening. As word spread of the deal ahead of the announcement, Democrats began fuming both privately and publicly. They wanted more compromise from the president on tax cuts. They felt he should not have been so willing to compromise with Republicans on the issue in a time of rising national debt.

The Commander-In-Chief struck back against the critics in a press conference from the White House Briefing Room on Tuesday afternoon.  He explained in clearer terms exactly why he compromised with Republicans about tax cuts.  The cornerstone of his argument was that unemployed Americans needed the benefit extension to meet their basic needs while they look for work.

“Because of this agreement, [two] million Americans who lost their jobs and are looking for work will be able to pay their rent and put food on their table,” the president said.

“And in exchange for a temporary extension of the high-income tax breaks — not a permanent but a temporary extension — a policy that I opposed but that Republicans are unwilling to budge on, this agreement preserves additional tax cuts for the middle class that I fought for and that Republicans opposed two years ago,” Obama explained to reporters at the White House.

Among the firestorm of criticism, several prominent Democrats stepped forward in support of the president’s action.  Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), a former presidential candidate and opponent of the Bush tax cuts, weighed in on President Obama’s compromise with Republicans. Kerry explained the complexities of the president’s decision.

“I think the President had a hard decision to make,” Sen. Kerry remarked.  “He obviously decided that the best possible compromise was to get unemployment benefits, middle class tax cuts, and the Recovery Act provisions extended in exchange for these upper income tax extensions that he opposes, and he decided that in two years the fight over tax breaks for the wealthy will be rejoined,” Kerry added.

The Massachusetts senator was not the only supporter of the president’s plan.  Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Gov. Martin O’Malley (D-Md.), the Governors-elect of Rhode Island and New York, and the Mayors of Philadelphia, San Antonio, and St. Louis, among a litany of others, all released written statements in favor of the actions that President Obama took. Many explained how the unemployment benefits would help struggling families in their states while keeping the tax cuts temporary.

Tim Kaine, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, wrote a recent article in The Hill in which he demonstrated his support of the President.  “In the face of Republicans’ intransigence,” he said, “President Obama did the only thing a responsible leader could do: He opened negotiations. In his discussions with Congressional Republicans, the president stood by his core principles and fought hard for his position. He refused to accept any agreement that raised taxes on middle-class Americans or cut unemployed Americans off from critical aid.  Indeed, the president demanded significant concessions from Republicans for his approval of any deal.”

The next step for approval is a vote in Congress on the terms of the agreement. The president and his team are working hard to gain support for the package on both sides of the aisle.



About the Author

Matt E. Stevens
Matt E. Stevens is the creator and chief blogger of Prune Juice Media. The site takes a sarcastic and informative look at the issues of the day – namely politics and current affairs. The goal of the site is to share information and make people laugh, or at least think. Matt is a contributing writer for Politic365.




 
 

 
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19 Comments


  1. Dave

    WHAT ABOUT THE 99ERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Not one mention of the 5 plus million so far that have no were to go. We have run out of everything. If you have not lost it, you are about too. I have lost my car, almost the home, and the kids are who I feel the most about. They sacrifice all the time. Please Washington, help the 99ers, we are people too!!!


  2. sufi

    Kerry is the richest man in the senate. He'll make another fortune on tax cuts alone over the next two years.


  3. Radoo

    Brian there are no jobs at least here in Las Vegas.
    Yesterday saw the assistant Audio Video manager of Wynn casino cutting my boars head meat at the super market. It is F**CKIN SAD


  4. Jim

    Typical Washington deal, we went the most expensive way. We OKed both the tax cuts and the unemployment benefits. Add another trillion to the debt!


  5. Joe

    Sure, let's send billions to other countries while we let the unemployed in our own country do without food, a home, a car and other things that are needed.


    • Guest

      You want to bring jobs home, you have to start by eliminating the tax breaks for companies that send jobs overseas. Set import taxes on any product produced in a country whose minimum (or average) wage is less than the U.S. minimum wage to a percentage that would make the wage paid equal to ours. For example, if a product is produced in China, where the average wage is what $.10 an hour, and imported, impose an import tax of 7800% on their products. Watch how fast things get real level real quick. As a country and government, we worked very hard to move jobs overseas to stimulate the world economy. As a country and government, to stimulate our economy, those jobs have to come home.


  6. Incognito

    The people voted they wanted big change, maybe they should get what they voted for ,No unemployment benefits, now with no consequences they will still mistakenly think they are part of the elite group they voted for LOL and will do it all over again in the next election, all in the while the pres still trying to help them out… Wannabees!! well lets see them shake themselves out of theyre own trees hope they have the money to back up there big talk of no handouts to slackers & how they are better then everyone else. Some just havent been humbled enough it seems :-) Well if that is one of the good things that has happened that is it. It took my son 4 months of applying ,looking , asking & getting help from me to find his very first job. How sad & worrysome this is to us. Just shows what is going on here is not a good thing. Its no business what the rich do with theyre money but hopefully they are giving back to a country that made them that way in the first place . Not they should have to they should want to I think ??? I wouldnt lose sleep over anything if I had some major dough to roll around in, If I did there would seek medical attention LOL.


  7. Incognito

    The job he got after months of looking ,is only a few hours a week at Mcdonalds ..sad but better then nothing I guess :-o He is happy to have his first job finally!!!


  8. Kelly

    My husband has also just received his last unemployment check. He has looked and looked for work with no success. We will now risk the loss of our home and many other things. We have not slepted for weeks. We cannot get our family anything for xmas this year and it also makes us sad. We pray every nite congress will also help us. There are days I wish I was no longer in this World, that is not good to feel this way. I have no where to turn to anymore. I hope for us all.


  9. DANIEL

    MANY JOBS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOOK AGAIN BRIAN BECAUSE OF THE DAM INTERNET THERE ARE 20 PLUS RESUMES FOR EVERY 1 JOB….HAVEN'T U BEEN LOOKING …MY GOD THINK BEFORE YOU EXPRESS YOURSELF


  10. Barbara99er-GA

    99ERS AND FUTURE 99ERS — WE ARE RUNNING OUT OF TIME — WHY ARE WE NOT UNITING?
    IF WE DON'T COME TOGETHER DURING THIS LAME DUCK SESSION — WE ARE DOOMED!!!

    We are in an emergency situation. You should be calling all of your representatives to complain about extending tax cuts for the wealthy and eliminating the 99ers from the extension of unemployment. Please go to the website — From the Trenches World Report and go to the Organized Resistance page and under Nationwide Rally to Extend Unemployment Insurance, leave your first name, state and the address of your unemployment office so we can organize active civil disobedience. This is our only hope. We have got to have enough people to form protest groups. I don't understand why we are not getting stronger. We are not going to win by being silent and we are not being heard by our government. Please help me make this happen. We can do this.


    • jimmyhat

      2 years of free cash and you want more! do you see the problem with this. you 99rs have sucked the states dry. if you cant find work where you live then move to where the work is. please quit crying for help.


      • Incognito

        Move where ??Karma is a bitch , sounds like you dont understand what is going on here?? I dont think that is the case either! I think you just might be a evil troll ? All our jobs have been sent somewhere else too faraway other countries fool, so the ugly stealonaires can hire slaves to make our stuff that now we cant even afford to buy anymore because there arnt alot jobs here right now,,, hmm grow a brain . Calling people slackers is a BS way of shifting blame somewhere else and it is getting old, think they like losing theyre houses and seeing theyr kids go without . Its sad sometimes people need to be humbled before they can feel for others . Starts when your very young by your parents actually guiding and bettering you spiritually ,so its not really your fault !Jimmydat. God Bless the USA and Have a Merry CHRISTmas.


      • brent

        grow up then fuck off


  11. DANIEL

    99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999ER'S THINK THEY GET THE PICTURE??????????????? PROB NOT…BUNCH OF NARSASISTIC BAFFOONS IN OFFICE…JUST REMEMBER KARMA IS A BITCH AND I DONT FORGET !!!! U BETTER KEEP AN EYE ON ME …THE GOOD OL U.S.OF ASSES


    • DANIEL

      OH YEA CTHEY CAN USE THE OL SMOKE AND MIRRORS TRICK BUT DIDNT THEY NOT ONLY BAIL OUT THE PEOPLE THAT GOT US IN THIS SITUATION IN THE FIRST PLACE AND REWARD THE ASSES WITH A MILLION OR TWO A PEICE WITH THATABOY MONEY AND DIDNT EVEN BLINK AN EYE…REMARKABLE WHAT A GREAT PONZI SCHEME !!!! AND THEY DONT THINK WE REMEMBER OHHHHHBUT THEY WILL IN 2012 MARK MY WORDS…………………………ARMEGEDDON


      • DANIEL

        CIVIL WAR….DOWN WITH THE SOCIALIST AND I ALWAYS WILL WONDER WHY OBAMA SENT A BILLION DOLLARS OF YOUR TAX MONEY TO BRAZILLIAN PETROLEUM???? U THINK IT WAS FOR HIS GOOD FRIEND GEORGE SORROWS AFTER HE BOUGHT IT FOR 999,000,000 DOLLARS AND THEY DIG FOR OIL AT 25,000 FEET LET ALONE 1/4 MILE IN THE GULF …..AMERICA U AND I ARE BEING DUPPED


      • jimmyhat

        give me a blow and go big dan



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